New ‘Oppenheimer’ Trailer Depicts America’s Atomic Bomb Race Against Nazi Germany

Christopher Nolan’s historical thriller chronicling the Manhattan Project hits theaters on July 21.

The stakes couldn’t be higher in the new trailer for directory Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. Starring Cillian Murphy in the titular role, the upcoming thriller chronicles J. Robert Oppenheimer’s efforts to build the world’s first atomic bomb. Or as the official synopsis puts it, “the pulse-pounding paradox of the enigmatic man who must risk destroying the world in order to save it.”

“We’re in a race against the Nazis,” Murphy’s Oppenheimer says of the Manhattan Project, the WWII-era government-backed venture tasked with creating nuclear weapons. “And I know what it means if the Nazis have a bomb.”

The trailer then shows the erection a makeshift laboratory and town in the middle of the desert, marking the intersection of America’s industrial might and scientific innovation.

Most previews of Oppenheimer have been unrelentingly intense, which is unsurprising given the gravity of the subject matter. But in the latest trailer, there’s an infusion of dark humor via an exchange between the leading man and Matt Damon’s General Leslie Groves Jr., who served as the Manhattan Project’s director.

(Universal Pictures)

“Are we saying there’s a chance that when we push that button, we destroy the world?” Groves asks.

“Chances are near zero. What do you want from theory alone?” Oppenheimer replies before Groves says, “Zero would be nice.”

The movie, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographical novel American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin, was adapted and produced for the screen by Nolan.

Nolan previously revealed that he and the production team recreated the movie’s pivotal nuclear explosion code-named “Trinity Test” without “computer graphics.”

Oppenheimer, which also stars Emily Blunt as biologist and botanist Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer and Robert Downey Jr. as U.S. Atomic Energy Commissioner Lewis Strauss, premieres exclusively in theaters on July 21, 2023.